Florida teacher shortage worsens ahead of new school year

by | Jul 5, 2022


  • Experts fear that Florida could have more than 10,000 teaching vacancies by the end of 2022
  • English is the most impacted subject; just 25 percent of Floridian third graders were found to be at a proficient reading level this year
  • Osceola County School Board recently voted to hire teachers from outside the country in an effort to make up numbers
  • Florida raised its teacher starting pay, but still lags behind the national average

 

With less than two months until the start of the new academic school year in Florida’s public schools, the state’s teacher shortage is worsening, with estimates fearing that vacancies could double by the end of 2022.

The most severely impacted core topic is English, a subject in dire need of more teachers after just 25 percent of third-graders were found to read at a proficient level on the state FSA exam. According to research in the report, English and reading skills have the largest percentage of outside-the-field instructors since less than 4% of educators possess subject certification in these areas. Throughout 60,000 out of the 591,461 registered classes taught in schools all over the state are being taught by individuals who are not licensed to do so, including over 9% of the English programs.

“We want high-quality education whenever we can get it,” Board of Education Chair Tom Grady said. “But having someone who is motivated and in an education program, as opposed to having no one, maybe there is something there we can do.”

Efforts to work around the shortage nationwide include combining classes, streamlining the curriculum, and in the case of New Mexico, which is suffering from a similar shortage, having the Governor work as a substitute teacher.

In June, the Osceola County School Board voted to hire dozens of foreign instructors to make up for the shortage of teachers domestically.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis is attempting to draw in prospective teachers through a budget allocation to increase teacher base pay.

“Since day one, I have been focused on making Florida a leader in education, and I am proud to announce my proposals to invest record funding into our education system over the next year,” said DeSantis. “By continuing to boost teacher pay, give bonuses to principals and teachers, prioritize workforce education, foster a strong civics curriculum, and replace the FSA with progress monitoring, we’re making a significant difference in the lives of our students.”

For educational services, a round of $1,000 bonus checks for approximately 179,000 teachers and principals in Florida was proposed, as well as $600 million for teacher pay.

An increase in per-student funding to reach $8,000 per student will be coupled with an elimination of the Florida Standards Assessment and its replacement with progress monitoring.

Despite the teacher pay increase for new teachers, Florida’s average teacher compensation overall is $51,167, which is still less than the $65,293 national average.

A four-year-old study of high school students indicated that just 5 percent were interested in becoming teachers while participation in programs that prepare future teachers fell by 23 percent between 2008 and 2016.

7 Comments

  1. Tom

    To be clear, two raises for educators in 3 plus years, plus teacher bonuses.

    You cannot not just change things overnight.
    The thank you in return was the Florida Education Assoc, sued the Gov. in opening schools during Covid!
    Real Gratitude. They lost in court and with moms and dads. DeSantis also saved youths from suicides.

    Reply
    • Teacher ANON

      There’s a reason why I’m not part of the teacher’s union.

      Reply
  2. dolphincritic

    A word about teacher’s unions! If the unions are doing such a good job, why are teachers so low paid? Why are there such vacancies if the union has created this so-called important and desirable job? Maybe teachers need to work 12 months a year and get paid for those extra months. Maybe, parents need to pay extra tuition for their kids to get a good education. Many taxpayers do not have kids. Many big taxpayers are companies. If you want your child educated properly, then you should spend more of your cash on his or her education. Most parents balk at the idea of spending $20.00 a month per child for added security at the school their kids attend. We need to re-engineer schools for modern times.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Just raise our property taxes to pay for decent wages.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Some parent(s) need to sue the state. State constitution says state and districts have to supply a quality education to students. Politicians aren’t allowing that.

    Reply
    • mark

      yeah!

      Reply
  5. mark

    the best news site!

    Reply

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